Hens were going to bed in their house..now not doing it..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by deedeebird, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. deedeebird

    deedeebird Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2013
    I have 9 hens and a rooster. They have a large fenced area surrounding their chicken trailer I got them so they have plenty of room to roam. They used to go in at night (in the trailer) then I noticed the hens..a few at a time..started roosting on top of it. The rooster too. Now they will not go in at all. None of them. The trailer is about 7 feet long..looks like there is plenty of room for them to sleep in? I did not care during the summer...but now with the cold weather approaching and wind and rain..I am not comfortable with them roosting at night outdoors. How big of a space should I have for the 9 hens and the rooster for nightime sleeping? It has boxes inside of it..but no sticks for them to roost on...not high enough. Any suggestions? It was terrible here tonight so got all my girls and put them in the garage tonight. They did not seem to traumatized by the move and settled down very quietly. I moved them because they were wet and we had quite a bit of high winds...
  2. lfurrer

    lfurrer New Egg

    Jun 25, 2013
    I don't have a solution, but have noticed one of our hens has started wanting to sleep outside the coop. She's decided sitting in the pine tree sleeping alone in the cold suits her just fine. So the past couple nights I've just thrown her in the coop after I get a chair and get her down.

    Very curious as to answers...
  3. deedeebird

    deedeebird Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2013
    Yes...I am too..last night I rounded them all up and put them in my mudroom..can't figure it out. They have clean straw in the trailer, no pests that I know of or signs of. I checked this morning when I brought them out. Mice..a few but they kiiled 2 the minute they got back in the hen yard.
  4. ScarlettDam

    ScarlettDam New Egg

    Aug 30, 2013
    Northern Germany
    You said they have no sticks to roost on. I would start there. Birds want to roost off the ground. Try giving them a perch that is long enough they can all sleep on it. Then keep them locked up in the coop for a few days so they recognize that the coop is home. After that you shouldn't have any more problems.
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    There's your answer. If there is no roost in their coop that is why they are roosting on top. Chickens do NOT like to sit on the ground or the floor at night, they feel very vulnerable there, as well they should. I would provide a coop for them that has enough head room for a roost if the current coop does not. The wide side of a 2x4 is best for standard size chickens.

    Edited to add: I would only keep them locked in the coop provided the coop was large enough and with enough natural light for normal daytime activity. Otherwise just put them in there when it gets dark and close the door. Might have to do this a few times but once they know they can roost in there they will likely start going in on their own.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 25, 2012
    Hens know how high they want or need to roost to avoid predators. If your breed of chicken has the ability to fly up there, even in small increments, they will surely roost in trees if ever allowed to do so. Everything being equal they are healthier and happier roosting in trees provided the hen is from a robust breed of chickens. There are exceptions to this when in snow country and of course there is the problem of Great Horned Owls, Raccoons, Bobcats, and other nocturnal chicken thieves who come equipped with climbing gear

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